#1 US Market Complaint About the Countryman

According to research MINI USA has just received, the number one complaint from US about the MINI Countryman is that it’s too small. Yep, the largest MINI ever made, the one that has caused a huge uproar within the MINI community is apparently not large enough for some within the American market. Sound familiar? It was the same complaint that the US market had about the R50, R53 and R56 hatch. As you can guess, MINI USA finds it all a bit ridiculous.

So here are our thoughts; It’s a MINI. That means, if it’s in the crossover segment, it will be the smallest one available. Yes it’s tight with four people and luggage. But it’s doable. And that’s the key with the Countryman. It makes things possible that weren’t when owning a MINI previously while staying true to the brand’s ideology. Does it handle 100% like the hatch? No. Does it out-handle anything else (by a wide margin) within the small cross-over segment? In our experience, yes (the only thing close being the Nissan Juke – if you can get past the pretty much everything else wrong with it)

But enough of what we think. Let’s hear your thoughts. Should MINI care that the #1 complaint from the American market is that the Countryman is too small? Should the next generation be larger to accommodate more storage space? Or should MINI stand their ground and be MINI?

This news comes from our recent interview with Vinnie Kung at the LA show (which you can hear in it’s entirety tomorrow).

  • Sdbryant

    Or is it because the Americans that commented are the overweight lazy couch potato population that seems to be growing larger in size in more ways than one?

    • Nirvana

      Let me tell you this, my family isnt the skinniest one. However, we fit quite nicely in our Mini cooper S 2009. They roll their eyes when they see us getting out of minI cooper lol. I think it just depends on the person’s opinion. Not whole america.

    • Anonymous

      It may also have something to do with the american obsession with being prepared for anything and wanting a vehicle that can do everything (except get good gas mileage).

      Once you have the “What If” monkey on your back it can be hard to shake.  What if I need to haul xx thousand pounds?  What if I want to go off road?  (:eyeroll:)  What if I need to buy 50 sheets of 4’x8′ plywood right this instant!?  and so on.

      For 90+% if they’d just buy a reasonably sized vehicle they could save a ton on gas money and then easily afford to rent a vehicle for those very rare times when they really need the capacity of a large SUV/pickup.

      • Melissa

        I bought my Clubman for that exact reason (“what if”) and it’s worked out perfectly.  I loved the hatch, but I’m young and single and need the extra space to carry around friends and a dog and moving boxes because renting/using another car every time I want to do something like that sucks.  It’s my primary car so I need it to do that stuff, but, I still wanted something small, fun, and economical.  It’s a perfect size day to day that can expand when needed, even though I don’t expand it every day. I think if I had a significant other at this point, I would’ve gotten the Countryman.  I’d always have a +1 and that way I could still carry the dog/friends/stuff easily.  It’d also be preparing for possibly a little one.  

        So I guess your point is valid.  But on the flip side,for those of us who like the little size and saving gas money, upgrading a bit in the MINI family is a smart idea.  Can always borrow a truck for the bigger stuff =D

        PS- fitting a baby seat into Clubbys breaks backs.  True story!

        • MarkC

          We have two kids (4yrs & 1yr respectively) and our JCW Clubman – our only vehicle by the way – works wonders for our needs.  It can be a bit of a challenge at Christmas time when making our rounds, but somehow we always manage to fit everything in.  These cars have a way of attracting thoughtful and resourceful owners. M –Oh, we usually have our 5yr old Boston Terrier (Hercules) in tow too!

    • Jeanrabelais

      Dude, I ride my bike to work everyday, even in winter. At lunch I swim 2miles, and after work I hit the gym where I run, take classes, and lift weights. Just because you are short doesn’t mean you have make fun of people who might be taller than you!

  • E THEJr

    Having both an R50 and an R60, the size of the R60 is great. Loyalty aside, if we were looking for a larger vehicle, we would purchase outside of the brand. We felt the size of the R60 was great. Tremendously larger than the R50, some sacrifices in handling, etc., good gas economy and staying in the Mini brand.

  • E THEJr

    Having both an R50 and an R60, the size of the R60 is great. Loyalty aside, if we were looking for a larger vehicle, we would purchase outside of the brand. We felt the size of the R60 was great. Tremendously larger than the R50, some sacrifices in handling, etc., good gas economy and staying in the Mini brand.

  • keepminismini

    oh for goodness sake!  buy something else that’s big enough for you and leave us, and our mini minis, in peace!

  • keepminismini

    oh for goodness sake!  buy something else that’s big enough for you and leave us, and our mini minis, in peace!

    • Ulrich Diederich

      My thoughts exactly. Plenty of other choices available. Move along.

    • Melissa

      He said he liked it…..

  • Bob Miller

    Mini had great success with their cheeky campaign, Becoming a Manual.  The Countryman just needs its own cheeky campaign: Quit Being a Whiny Lard Ass.

    • It’s nice to know that I”m a “Whiny Lard Ass” because I have two newborn sons.

      • Sam

        If you need more space, BMW will gladly sell you an X3 or an X5.

        • Are those specifically for “Whiny Lard Ass”es?

  • Dusty

    Americans complain about everything.  If MINI makes the countryman larger than it will be to hard on gas.  They’ll find something else wrong with it.  A good part of America’s problem is they’re just plain big fat and lazy.  No wonder they need a bus size SUV to haul their to haul their larger than a holstein’s rear end around in…..

    • Tordalen

      Way to sound like an elitist turd of perfection!  Either you’ve been suckered by marketing into thinking driving a Mini somehow makes you important or you are in fact European with little real insight into America.  SOME Americans wish the car was bigger and you jump to the conclusion that they must be fat and lazy!  You can’t get any more stupid than that!  In the world of crossovers the Mini is small.  If your shopping for something in the crossover line your more than likely looking for a car that can haul your whole family comfortably.  NO Mini does that very well and though that may be one of the reasons we love our Mini’s we aren’t the company marketing the vehicle as one that can do just that.  The idea that Americans hold the flag on fat and lazy is slowly loosing it’s cred when I travel to Europe twice a year and I see more and more fat people all the time!  It’s bogus!

      • Anonymous

        There’s a lot of obesity to go around: http://www.infoplease.com/world/statistics/obesity.html

        With 74% of Americans considered overweight or obese, I assume every automaker is forced to take statistics like this into consideration when planning their product line. (To that end, I assume stats go into planning everything from automobiles to caskets, from task chairs to restaurant portion sizes.)

        But I don’t think that’s what the Countryman owners surveyed were talking about. I’m guessing that it had more to do with the stuff they wanted to “cram in the boot” besides themselves 🙂 Dogs, gear, luggage…snacks 🙂

        As for my preference, the smaller the MINI the better. But I’ve let go of the passion I had to keep MINI tiny across the board. It’s futile, and perhaps not something MINI can do and keep the lights on (the later is posed more as a question than a statement).

  • I believe the Countryman is the perfect size. It’s small for a reason – it’s MINI. Why would you buy something named “MINI” if you didn’t want something small?

    Ignore the complaints. They just don’t know what they’re getting into. 🙂

  • Bmikejames

    Let MINI be mini.

  • I really hate this country when it comes to cars. I cannot STAND all of these stupid SUV’s that keep coming out from all of these car companies just to satisfy the US’s  “need” for big cars. SUV’s are trash. Have a family and kids? Get a freakin wagon. 

    • Sure, point me to a good wagon for sale in the U.S….

      I’ll keep waiting.

      • Sam

        Subaru Outback

        • Sorry, that’s an SUV now.

        • RWD, manual transmission 3 Series wagon. The best family truckster for sale in the US.

        • And a bargain at 38k, while being only slightly bigger than a Mazda 3 5 door.  While it may be a good 5 door, it’s still lacking the utility of the station wagons of yore.

      • MINImofo

        Audi A3 wagon

        • About as much extra room as the old Malibu Maxx

  • mike

    Why don’t the mouth-breathers just by a Suburban? If you buy a vehicle with a name synonymous with small (Mini) and are surprised by its size, then there’s just no help for you. 

    • John

      Mouthbreathers?  Wow you must be important!  How about Mini make a small car again because Mini hasn’t been a Mini for years now.  Why exactly do you think Mini made the Countryman?  Thats right, to cater to the larger car owner plain and simple.  So if you want to blame anyone blame Mini!

      • mike

        I’ll just ignore the “important” comment because I only respond to coherent thoughts… 

        Mini made the smallest possible SUV with AWD. You can’t blame them for anything.. No one forced consumers to buy it. Don’t you test drive a car before buying one? I sat in the backseat of my R53 and said, “boy this is tight”. But guess what, I don’t have kids.. so I bought one. I never complained about how small it was.. I bragged.

      • Simbaloco

        Didn’t MINI create the R60 because they saw huge market potential in the USA?

    • Like there is no hope for someone who thinks that the words ‘by’ and ‘buy’ are the same?  Or the ones who spell MINI Mini?

  • Aurel

    Well, they were after the buyer that wanted something “bigger” than a hatch/clubman … anotherwords not the typical MINI buyer. Of course they will still complain about the size.

  • JonPD

    I am sure Bigger Motor Works is listening and having proved for decades to be the ultimate niche machine (aka be everything to everybody) we will see something larger sooner or later. All the while being sold as having MINI DNA and handling. I personally think this is Vinnie trying to start the MINI community moving towards a larger MINI in the future. The sad fact is that no matter what they build somebody will whine its not large enough. MINI has proven that its willing to chase any market so I would not be shocked at all with a not so mini MINI (wait there is already a R60 😉 )

    • klf23

       I personally think this is Vinnie trying to start the MINI community moving towards a larger MINI in the future.

      this.

    • You clearly don’t know Vinnie and MINIUSA. He was laughing when he told us. They find it pretty ridiculous as well.

      • klf23

        So you can guarantee that there will never be a larger MINI, Gabe?

        Can Vinnie/MINIUSA provide the same guarantee?

        I guess I’m getting (more)cynical in my old age.

        • I can guarentee the opposite.

        • Hemisedan

          Granted, my car is not a Countryman, but I’ve had 6ft 6 guys ride with me, and a 350lb co-worker ride with me. Both were shocked St the space and room in my little JCW r56. An, the Countryman is a larger car? And it is. Why the problems?

  • Markus_oneill

    How about an “Occupy small” campaign?

  • MINImofo

    So who did they “survey” anyway? 

    • Who did they survey? All the people that think pizza is a vegetable, that’s who.

      • MINImofo

        HA!!!!!!

  • Jeanrabelais

    You guys must be on the short side. I’m 6’2 and yes I fit well in the other mini’s but the back seat is basically a shelf because it’s unusable. Also add a little luggage and what once seemed like a roomy car suddenly seems cramped. The countryman is the same deal for me – I fit fine in the front seat but no one can fit in the back seat behind me. Even your picture looks claustrophobic to me. I’ll pass on the Countryman.  If they could give us the room of the X3 without the long hood then they would have a winner!

    • Ulrich Diederich

      Obviously the Countryman doesn’t fit your needs, that doesn’t mean it should be upsized to accomodate your 6′-2″ frame. You have other choices like the X3 that you mentioned. Also how often do you travel with luggage?

      I for one am really tired of car makers increasing the size of their models with each new generation. The BMW 3-series is now larger than the 5-series was two generations ago. That’s just crazy.

      • I’m 6’2″. Fits me perfectly.

      • John

        On average cars are smaller than they have ever been in the US right now.  Every year a new smaller car is introduced.  The 1990’s and early 2000’s are over so I don’t know where your looking.  Let’s not forget that every foreign car company pretty much has an SUV in the States now.  Porsche for christs sakes has one (and it’s the ugliest thing on the road)!  Mini doesn’t HAVE TO make a bigger car.  They choose to!

      • Jeanrabelais

        The x3 while having a nicely sized interior has an oversized exterior. I guess it’s the inline six that stretches out the hood to far in my opinion. And, I doubt that as a business plan telling potential buyers that they have other options is the way to go for mini just because you happen to be tall. Could you imagine an advertisement ” mini the car for small people” ? I don’t think so.

        • Ulrich Diederich

          That’s exactly the business plan: Mini is not all things to all people. Kind of like Apple, not everyone wants to spend $1K on a laptop. Fine, buy another one.

        • Jeanrabelais

          If selling cars ONLY to people who are less than tall is your business plan then good luck with it.

        • Joresc2007

          EXCELLENT COMMENT IF YOU DONT LIKE MINIs, MOVE ALONG! 🙂

    • Anonymous

      I can fit fine behind the front seat when the front seat is pushed all the way back.

      • Jeanrabelais

        That’s funny because I can’t at all, and wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. THe picture above shows the back seat with the front seat pushed all the way forward. Once you start pushing the front seat back even a little you are taking away the little back leg room that is there. I’ve been complaining about this on this blog since the car was making the car show rounds. 

        • BilboBaggins

          Actually, that is just a studio mockup of the interior, there are no front seats.

  • JP Dunphy

    stand your ground MINI… the point of it is NOT to be a gigantic cross over but a MINI!

  • Ayhorik

    It’s a Mini! If you don’t want small then go elsewhere! Mini should not compromise its namesake further or it will become a parody of itself! The countryman is a great little(big) car. Leave it be!

    • BilboBaggins

      Agreed!

      It has always seemed to me that BMW should have kept the MINI dealership close to a BMW dealership, within walking distance (for an American that is about 100’/30m), that way they could they could easily step people up to the larger vehicles.

  • Anonymous

    obvious complainers are obvious

  • Az Photo Mac

    I’ve never cared for the frowning grill look that the Countryman has, however that aside, if I did need four doors and all that extra room I would consider the Countryman just to thumb my nose at the US “manufactures” (most GM trucks are made in Mexico) as well as the other “foreign” manufactures for making their vehicles larger every model year.  Living in Texas where everything is larger than life, including native Texans egos, there are more large SUV’s than any other place I’ve ever lived.  Impress your neighbors and look down on almost everything must be the mentality here.  I’ll keep on driving my Mini, zipping around those towering SUV’s all the while getting twice the gas mileage and having fun doing it.

    And for those that are wondering… no, I’m not a native Texan, and proud of it too.  

    • Ulrich Diederich

      I live in Texas too. Wait until they try to wrap their minds around a 500 Abarth.

    • Annarrogance

      Haha I AM a native Texan and (sometimes) proud of it, and I totally agree! I see no sense in buying a Suburban when you have 1 kid and a spouse, and never leave the city, and then claiming you NEED IT TO SURVIVE. It is just the “everything’s bigger in Texas” mentality. I’ll be perfectly happy in my Countryman, thank you very much, as will my 6’2″ husband (who fits just fine in the car, by the way) and our 3 dogs and eventual kids.

  • Horse

    the Size of my Coupé was only one reason I bought it.  I personally don’t care how big Mini’s get.  If they get too big I won’t buy it and I’ll stay with the smaller models which they’ll surely keep.  Remember, everyone here that’s calling these supposed complainers “fat and lazy” are driving around in Mini’s that in comparison, are behemoths when put next to a REAL Mini.  So it’s a bit ironic.  Driving a car that alot of people looked at as a joke when they first re-introduced under BMW.  Taking an iconic name like MINI and making them bigger.

  • cze33r

    ahh, this takes be back.

    At the risk of getting flamed, I remember when MINI announced that they would be listening to the Americans when designing future models, it was a bad idea then and reading this article, it still is.

    Who do they ask when they conduct this so called research?

    • I don’t think they asked to have this research done… It’s part of JD Powers typical new car buying studies.

  • Current size is just right… why go BIGGER?  Every damn vechial has gone large… from the Civic,  3-series, trucks, etc… even the Miata.  If you need larger get a SUV or stationwagon….

  • hfred

    Wow, Gabe, way to poke the hornet’s nest on a quiet Sunday!

  • Todd

    I am 6ft 4 , 260lbs. I fit perfectly in the Mini Countryman. Problem is I have (1) 1 year old and 1 more on the way and 2 medium sized dogs around 50lbs each. So put my wife in the passengers seat the kids in the rear seats and the dogs in the boot and where does that leave me space for the strollers? I understand Mini wants to be Mini, I would love to own a Countryman but I can’t fit everything in it. Prior posts are correct if I sit in the drivers seat I fit fine, but if someone other than my son wants to sit behind me it’s not possible.

    I HATE SUVs. America has an addiction to SUVs and it’s awful. I owned a Scion XB which was great then traded that for a Subaru Outback wagon. Now I am ready to trade in my wife’s car and I want a Countryman sooooo bad, but it just doesn’t make sense for me. What am I going to go with that has heated seats ( I live in New England ) for a reasonable price with space? The new Scion xB gets 22/28 mpg and doesn’t offer heated seats. Nissan Juke should be called Nissan Joke that thing is tiny. Ford Focus wagon , again no one can sit behind me. What I want just isn’t produced. I’d like a stick shift with heated seats, sunroof that can fit my family that gets good gas mileage isn’t too expensive and is fun to drive. Mini meets all of that , if it were just had an extra 6 inches in the rear seat and maybe 6-8 inches in the boot. So over all increase the length a little and they would have a winner ! I’m not saying make Mini into an SUV.

    I like the Toyota Prius V, but for $26,300 + destination what do I get besides space and good gas mileage? I’m not trying to be selfish I just know what I want and I want a Mini Countryman thats the size of the Scion xB

    • Jeanrabelais

      I agree!

    • Ajduden

      This is very similar to the problem I have. I’m 6′ 4″, 250lbs. I have a 4 year old daughter that is ~47″ tall and has tracked off the chart on height from the day she was born. Couple that with a 5 month old daughter that (so far) is bigger than her older sister, so I am very likely looking at trying to accommodate 3 6’+ people in a vehicle. My wife is 5′ 8″. I absolutely despise the thought of being forced to purchase an SUV or a minivan simply because we’re tall. My wife drives a Nissan Versa Hatch SL, but we’re looking at needing to replace my 2004 Cooper S JCW simply because we can’t fit our entire family in it. (No room behind me). I can set the Countryman front seat to where I’m comfortable and squeeze in behind myself, but it’s tight. I’d be fine with another 4-6 inches of leg room in the rear. I can deal with less storage, just allow the rear seats to move back even further to maximize passenger space.

    • Aurel

      yeah same issues here and finding it VERY HARD to stay in the MINI family for my next purchase. have a Clubman, me 6’7″ + wife 5’10 + a 2.5 y/o behind the wife who is already reaching the limits of stretching her legs in the car seat if my wife is in the passenger seat (forget about her sitting behind me) … 80% of the time the seat behind me is folded flat for extra storage. car is “ok” for now … but not for long.

      The Countryman … tried it. In a lot of ways it is actually worse. For me getting in and out with dignity from the drivers seat is worse as the doors are shorter so I am basically sitting behind the B pillar. backseats are NEGLIGIBLY roomier than the Clubman. Cargo is a bit more spacious, but again nothing drastic.

      Do I blame MINI for this? Not really … but I do with that SOME / ANY car company would make a kickass fun ride for young families that also has some space and doesn’t break the bank. The options are literally none.

      • Aurel

        What I also believe is that with the dwindling population of pretty much every country in Europe, kids are not the first thing on automakers minds. heck I even tried a Volvo on for size some months ago and save for their biggest SUV, space was just as an issue in all their range.

        There is a reason that Japan/Asia is focused on larger/family cars. Shame though.

  • Actually, the Countryman is perfectly sized for its intended purpose.  It’s worse property?  The ride, stupid!

    Let’s face it; in 18″ run-flat, sport suspension AWD guise, a rickshaw will smooth out the road better.   Will this make me move to the Land Rover Evoque any sooner?  Doubtful, but it’s crossed my mind.  

    Overall, I’m enjoying the MINI.  I just hope its suspension and body parts can handle the abuse, err, I mean, ride.

  • df

    Actually, the Countryman is perfectly sized for its intended purpose.  It’s worse property?  The ride, stupid!

    Let’s face it; in 18″ run-flat, sport suspension AWD guise, a rickshaw will smooth out the road better.   Will this make me move to the Land Rover Evoque any sooner?  Doubtful, but it’s crossed my mind.  

    Overall, I’m enjoying the MINI.  I just hope its suspension and body parts can handle the abuse, err, I mean, ride.

  • Gary S

    I’ve had a UK and US R53, then moved to the US and worried about New England winters, so I had an R53 and a Jeep Patriot (Trail Rated) for a few winters…  I traded both for a VW CC for a season because it was an interesting car…  I recently traded the CC for a Countryman Cooper S ALL4 and I’m happy to be back in a MINI again…  The CC was always an interim vehicle because the Countryman ALL4 wasn’t available at the time…  I have no complaints with the Countryman so far…  I have pets and play golf, and I can fit golf clubs and pet crates much easier than my previous vehicles…

    I guess the biggest thing I like is that it drives like a MINI, but I have more room for other things…  It’s much more interesting and fun to drive than my Jeep Patriot…

  • So let me get this straight, it’s not enough of an oxymoron? @mini:twitter #minicountryman #WTF?

  • “Or should MINI stand their ground and be MINI?”

    I couldn’t have said it better….

  • goat

    And this* is why we Canadian car enthusiasts can’t have anything nice!  😉

    •  Americans of the sort who complain that the biggest MINI ever is “too small”, that cars need more cupholders, that the seat needs to be higher for easier ingress/egress, that the most sporting models must be available with an autotragic transmission, etc.
  • Joresc2007

    The average fat assed stupid customers fromm the USA need monstruous SUV´s. I think MINI don´t need to take that stupid comments seriously, there is more in the world than the USA market.

  • Christian

    WTF?! I find the R53 perfect for me. The Countryman is pretty big for my height. I just want to scream at people and say stop getting fat and tall!

  • Christian

    Wait, so this complain is a general market question or owners of the Countryman?

  • There are many people who needs small car and for them it is good car.

  • Hemisedan

    The people that give this complaint would be “new to Min” and don’t understand that the first name in the Mini Cooper Countryman is:  Now get this…..Mini.  It’s not suppose to compete against the Ford Flex, Chevrolet Suburban and the 20 others, or the Toyota 4 Runner and others.  It’s a Mini.

  • diesel

    It’s just fine in size.  Not too small, not too big.  Needs a diesel motor in the USA though.

  • I knew the first response would be “Huurr Americans r fat” The back seat and the rail are goofy. I drove a Countryman loaner and I really liked it- but the back seat seemed rushed to make the American market. I know a lot of people love the rail as “inventive” but it just seemed in the way, completely awkward from the front seat, and a waste of space. Accessory buttons like Sport, windows, locks were hard to get to. Also not a fan of the tiny knobs on the new stereo. It was comfortable but did not make the best use of interior space.I’m waiting to test one with the bench seat before I decide if it will be the family car when we have kids. Right now the R56 hatch does the job… and I might go for the Roadster before kids come along.

  • Dr Obnxs

    Look at pretty much every car made, and over time, in general, it gets bigger. People identify with the brand and model, and want to stay with it as their needs change. So look at the 3 series. Larger. Look at the honda accord or civic. Larger. Same thing with most american cars. This is NOT a US thing only, it’s a human nature thing. Only cars that really shed this are ones that are around for so many decades that they last through something like the oil shocks of the seventies, where everything gets reset.

    And I have no problem with people who want some of the MINI experience but want to complain about other parts of the MINI experience. I personally think the ergonomics and function of the center stack sucks. I would love it to change much more than it has. But I still like the rest of the experience that comes with my MINIs. So there are people who have complaints about the size. So what? They want lots of what MINI has to offer, and choose to spend thier money despite the compromise that they make on some facets of the vehicle design. That is just like EVERY OTHER OWNER of the car who has some issue with some part of the car.

    Lastly, MINI is going to chase the money. They can do what, maybe one or two varients that are smaller as “city cars” or whatever, but to grow, they will go bigger, because that is where the money is. Look, if you had a whole group of people who said “I’d buy one of these if you made it” you’d think about the business case for whatever it is that they wanted. It would be stupid to not. By starting at the smallest end of the spectrum, they had little place to go other than bigger.

    So many here posted really insulting comments, where there was no need. Sad to see. Wasn’t the Motoringfile readerships best day, by a long shot.

    • JonPD

      Bigger Motor Works loves the bigger is better bandwagon. Funny that the best ///M they have produced likely in decades is counter to this. It makes little sense to me to overlap the X1 and a future MINI model. Let MINI be MINI and if more room is needed there is a prefectly good BMW waiting for whatever size you may need.

  • BilboBaggins

    Let them buy an X3

    I just hope that BMW/MINI will true to the brand and tell these people that it wouldn’t be a MINI if they made it any larger.  Already the Countryman has lost some of it’s MINIness.

    Of course if you give your Countryman to ProDrive you can get that MINIness back.  For a mere $100,000, plus your donor Countryman.

  • Bob Hayhurst

    …wow, so many disparaging comments on the “ugly American”. It’s sad to see.

    It wasn’t clear to me from the article who was polled (new owner, perspective owner, tire kicker, etc.) but it seems to me this could be a legitimate complaint for any new vehicle. More so perhaps, given that the name of this particular car manufactuer is MINI. I wonder and again it’s not clear, is the size complaint just a complaint in general or does it reach to the level of a negative car buying decision. Either way, I suspect this complaint gets little if any traction given the Countrymans overall size was decided long ago.

    Oh and by the way, it seems to be selling quite nicely…

  • We are voting with our money. I just got the call that my wife’s 2012 ALL4 has been built, it just needs to get over here. We are getting to the point where we need a little more room, and four doors will help with aging family members. 

    But – the important part here is it is still a MINI! I kind of wish they were for sale when I bought my Forester XT!

  • PhillyMINI member

    We’re a 2 MINI family with a 20 month old toddler.  Our family car is the R60 which we took delivery of in the beginning of January and totally love it.  It fits us fine since I’m used to packing things in my R53.  As a previous poster commented, a good majority of people complaining are probably new to the marque.  All I can say is the R60 out handles any SUV out there….and even though the Juke is the next closest, it doesn’t offer a manual trans with all wheel drive!!

    • VanMINI

      My boy calls them Nissan Pukes

      • (n/m, didn’t see the ‘my boy’ comment)

  • Nick

    The size is fine with me. It’s just right for a MINI SUV. The #1 problem I have is the interior: 1) Center Rail, get rid of it. This is something that may have sounded good on paper but never should have made it to the final product.  2) Radio, after all these years it’s time for MINI to finally address the poorly designed hard to see functions of the audio system on all MINIs. 3) Unfinished cheap looking trim around the gauges.       

    • MINImofo

      I don’t see the problem with the radio. After 2 months it came natural as to where the controls were……..

  • Hoover

    I’d love to replace our CR-V with the R60 (provided they fix that trim), but we haul our dog around with our kid.  The boot seems a little cramped for a dog, without a lot of air circulation.  I am wondering how others are dealing with this. For long trips in the CR-V, we have a Yakima roof box.  We carry everything just fine.  I was thinking we could do the same with the R60, but I’m worried that the boot just isn’t big enough.  The dog isn’t huge–only about 55 pounds. We only have one kid, so I was thinking that we could just fold one seat down in a pinch.  Anybody dealing with this?

  • SOMEONE DOESN’T LIKE WHAT I DO! BURN THEM AT THE STEAK! BWAA BWAA

    What a bunch of cry-babies.  Seriously.

    If your target market is the ‘youth’ market, they will leave you when they take on more responsibilities.  Sorry to all you MINI or die fanboys, my boys and their stuff is a hell of a lot more important to me than driving a MINI (doubly so when the Mazda 5 is a damn fun to drive car/van/whatever).  This is from someone who took delivery of a MINI Cooper S (Red with all the white bits) in September 2002.

    So, instead of buying a new MINI when my family grew, err, doubled in size overnight, as they didn’t have a single thing that came close to fitting my needs, I bought a Mazda 5. 

  • Dave

    Actually….the number ONE complaint is the fact that other people cannot hear you when making a phone call using the OEM blue tooth.  Microphone’s on wrong side of the vehicle and it’s not a very good omni-directional one at that.

    Second major complaint is the chrome belt line peeling….jeeeesh.

    Third major complaint is MINI’s inability to keep up with Apple technology….from the G3 to the G4 took 3 years to make the cradle,  now they have the G4 cradle available and the G5 phone will be out soon….

    IMO either keep up or just get out of the way and don’t bother making this accessory !

    No center arm rest for the rail ?!?!  Hello – how about a center rail mounting unit for an Arm rest guys !!!!   Presently you cant have the full center rail AND a center arm rest.  Wake up !

    Lastly, the center rail accessories break all the time.  The base units break and the phone holder is too delicate for the task..

  • Glen

    I agree with the commenter who thought that people who complain that the Countryman is too small are more likely to be referring to the cargo space than passenger space.  I think the passenger space is more than adequate (though I am only 5’10” and not obese), but the cargo space is tight compared to other small crossovers.  I can’t fit two standard sized suitcases without taking the upper cover off or folding down a seat.  But I wouldn’t want the Countryman to be any larger – that would degrade the handling and gas mileage.  So the trick is to figure out how to squeeze more cargo space into the same envelope. 

    Part of the problem is that if you fold the cargo area floor up to serve as a screen to hide the contents – a necessity if you live in an area with a lot of car break-ins – the screen is fixed in place so that the rear seats can be slid all the way back.  If you slide the rear seats forward, you don’t gain any useful cargo space because the screen is still in the same place.  You just get some space between the seats and the screen, which is not enough to be really useful, and is not hidden from thieves.  So if the position of the screen could be adjustable, so when you slide the rear seats forward, you could also slide the screen forward and gain cargo space behind the screen, that would be helpful.

    Another issue is that the cargo area floor/screen is pretty thick – about an inch – so it takes up a significant amount of cargo space – either in the sub-floor compartment if it’s folded down or in the main cargo area if it’s folded up.  Using a thinner material (which is still strong enough to support the weight of the cargo) would also be helpful.

  • MINImofo

    True story: Going to class one night this rather large chick (each cheek must have weighed at least 100lbs) told me as I was getting out the car “I don’t like those little cars”. Well being the A-hole that I am I responded “probably because your too fat to fit in it”. He mouth fell open larger than it does in front of a Triple Stack with cheese…….

    • Cool story, Bro.

  • M8oinc

    To all the fat americans doing the complaining and persisting the stereotype of americans being fat … 3 words … roof cargo box. 

  • Hoover

    Hey…newbies to MotoringFile…not to be the comment police, but we have had issues on this site with comments devolving into personal attacks. It’s no fun to have to ask Gabe and Nathaniel to moderate the comments, so let’s keep it civil and respectful.

  • WICKET

    My complaint would be the small gas tank and range is limited to 320 miles average (Freeway)

  • MINIme

    Just build the Beachcomber already!!!

  • Secret

    People are complaining about the size of a car that carries the word MINI in its name?

  • I’m perfectly happy with the vehicle’s size.  I like the perch when I’m driving, too.  It’s a bit higher than my Acura TSX and has better visibility.  I’ve only had two problems, my iPod connection does not always work (DRIVE’s me nuts) and the “chrome” trim bubbling, which I read about on the Net.  That to me is a pretty big fail.  The latter is about the worst thing.  I have to get both fixed but they’ve not bothered me enough to rush into the dealer, so it can’t be that bad.

  • Lyk2Motr

    This our first Mini.  After 11 years in a mommy-van, my wife wanted a fun car with a manual transmission.  Initially, we were planning for a Clubman in 2009, but personal economic setbacks delayed our purchase by two years.  When we first heard about a new “Crossman” model coming out in late 2010, we waited.  When the Countryman finally debuted, it was everything she wanted.  Even with a 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter, we have no space problems whatsoever.  In fact, several strangers come up to the car and ask about it, since it doesn’t look like anything out there, including the other Minis.  Some even ask to sit in it and are amazed at the space.  I agree with the post below, too many Americans are way too large to be comfortable in anything but a road yacht.  Best they not bother, let those of us who enjoy motoring have our fun, and just keep clear on the road!

  • Jmlovato

     Just purchased All 4 over Nissan Juke and will not look back!  It’s a MINI and that’s that!  Way roomier than my Volvo s 40 A.W.D. and way COOLER!!!!! Would have never even considered the MINI brand until ALL 4 came out. One drive and was impressed.  Only complaint is the leatherette sport seats do not have lumbar support….Volvo seats were awesome…. Come on MINI..  Out of character for anyone to pay 33,000 for a vehicle with no leather/lumbar support….. Test drove 2 other Countryman that had leather w/lumbar. and assumed all Countryman offered lumbar support..After purchasing I drove just 3 blocks from the dealership and realized the situation.. Very upset to say the least!!! My only recommendation would be to make leather w/lumbar support standard for the “S” series….    Thanx.. KIMOSAV

  • 1st world problems

    All I can say is if it is too small for you go buy something bigger or stop trying to cram all of your shit in it. If you want one then be like the rest of and make it work. If MINI makes something bigger then the Countryman, and that means making the next generation Countryman bigger, I will leave the brand and not look back. Just saying. Waste of my time to be with a brand that says its all about being small then making road behemoths. By the way for the people who are large out there make it work don’t expect those of us who put forth effort in staying in shape bend to your needs. 

  • Dblboc

    I just bought my Countryman today! My decision was based on fuel economy, and function. I wanted a vehicle that could carry my mountain bike, and gear, but still be something that was cool enough to carry passengers in comfort. I was probably sold when my girlfriend sat in the back seat and had no legroom issues, she’s 5′ 9″. I really won’t make her ride in back, just had to pass the legroom test. So far the vehicle is freakin’ awesome. I went fro a Toyota Tacoma to the Countryman and am very happy.  Having a truck, I was convinced I would always need the bed for hauling something… Ultimately, I saw that it was rare I hauled anything in the bed.. So 90% of the time I had space that was never utilized, this is why they make delivery trucks!